I read your article about not having a Health Insurance Policy and using the wonderful health care available in other countries at a fraction of the U.S. costs. It sounds like a good idea and paying out of pocket seems reasonable for regular medical expenses.
My question is, what about a catastrophic illness like MS or cancer? I would think that even at the reduced costs overseas something like that would have the potential to wipe out your nest egg, no? I was thinking of perhaps getting a very high deductible catastrophic health plan just in case.
Thanks for taking the time to write. We appreciate it.
The delivery of health care and how we choose to pay for it is a challenge and a personal choice.
One thing you might consider is the difference between paying for the health care itself versus paying for the insurance to pay for health care.
If you pay for insurance month after month, year after year without making a claim, then that money has been spent but has not bought you care. If you put that same amount of money into an account (and after several years it could be tens of thousands of dollars) and actually purchase care when you need it, your money would go far — provided you don’t purchase the delivery of that care in the U.S.
If you have a serious medical condition like cancer (See Cancer Treatment in Guatemala or our Medical Tourism Page) the cost of receiving that treatment is much less in countries such as Thailand, Mexico, or Guatemala for example. In this case you would be paying for actual treatment and care, versus years of paying for an insurance policy for that insurance company to pay for your treatment and care.
That insurance company would also have the option of refusing to pay for your (very expensive) treatment in the States or only paying a portion of your (very expensive) treatment in the States.
Not to mention the enormous paperwork involved with any sort of hospital stay, doctor visits, pharmaceuticals involved and so on. If you are the one receiving cancer treatment, most likely you would need a personal patient advocate to take care of the bureaucracy and your personal calendar for appointments. Unless you have a family member or spouse to do this for you, the labor cost for that assistance would be high.
If you have a condition like MS or ever find that you need live-in help, purchasing the labor for this is much cheaper outside the U.S.
Basically it comes down to where you want to place your money. I fully understand that having a health insurance policy that promises Cadillac treatment, covering all costs imaginable brings a certain peace of mind. That sort of policy is not available to everyone and so most of us must make other decisions for receiving care.
These decisions are personal and complex and everyone must choose for themselves.
We had a catastrophic insurance policy for decades, and ultimately it came down to us paying an awful lot of money for a product that we weren’t using.
We wish you clarity of mind in deciding what is best for you.
I hope you found our perspective useful, and please feel free to write any time.